Author: Helen Farrell

Editor-in-Chief of The Florentine, Helen writes about food, wine and all things literary. She is also a freelance contributor to Decanter. Email her at and follow her on Instagram @helencfarrell.
May 4, 2018

Better lighting, more stars

An interview with President Matteo Casanovi

Retreating to radishes

When five stories break a day and Florence’s events scene enters sixth gear, I retreat to radishes. Packed with potassium and folic acid, radishes are the ultimate energy bringer and stress buster. These dainty red roots sing spring; in rural Cheshire I grew up eating radishes in a ploughman’s salad. Delicately peppery and refreshing, they […]
April 30, 2018

Man, nature and machines

Any excuse is a good one to visit mesmerising Montepulciano, even more so this spring/summer due to a top-tier Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition. Held at the Fortezza, Anatomies: Machines, Man, Nature places emphasis on the Renaissance genius’ concept that machines, the human body and nature are all governed by the same universal laws. Expect masterful […]
April 21, 2018

Florence Cocktail Week 2018

Hot on the heels of the success of its previous editions, Florence Cocktail Week promises to shake things up again in the city from April 30 to May 6, with a focus on drinking well and responsibly.
April 17, 2018

A contemporary baron: Francesco Ricasoli

As the spring sun filtered in through the modern offices of millennium-old Barone Ricasoli, owner Francesco Ricasoli spoke to The Florentine about the importance of soil for Sangiovese, a lifetime of research and the estate’s hospitality.   Helen Farrell: In a 2004 interview with wine magazine Decanter you said that the aim was to relocate […]
April 11, 2018

Tobacco factory to change face of Florence

Former tobacco factory Manifattura Tabacchi has received a 200 million euro investment that will convert the 100,000 square meter complex into an all-new residential and cultural hub northwest of Florence.

Somm in the city

If you want to know anything about wine, ask a sommelier. These wine lovers put their livers on the line every day to bring the very best labels to your glasses. I spoke to six of Florence’s top wine waiters about their “madeleine” moment, house party picks and insider information for this year’s releases. Ph. […]
April 6, 2018

Bucolic Bolgheri

Down a steep hill and wading across a ford, Mulini di Segalari has to be seen to be believed. Planted everywhere you look with vines, bursting with vibrancy even post-harvest, this is a thriving valley of bucolic balance.   Following owner Marina Tinacci Mannelli around the former mill site is an education as the winemaker […]


‘Eat them now or wait for another year’ sums up the agretti affair. Depending on the weather, these grass-like leaves appear in greengrocers for six weeks or so every spring. Known as saltwort or monk’s beard in English, I stumbled across some in the last week of February, a whole month earlier than usual, “because […]

Spring 2018 wine events in Tuscany

Fill your glasses this April as wine-centric events are decanted throughout the region. From exhibitions to tastings, winery visits and festivals, you’ll be saying cin cin to Tuscany all month long.     Wine and art in the Valdarno The springtime exhibition Alchemies between Land and Sky. Wine Culture in the Organic Age at Il Borro […]